How to Prepare for an Interview
Over the next few weeks more than 30 UK universities will either visit the Hands On office or participate in the Hands On Interview Day on Monday 21 January 2013 at Pathumwan Princess Hotel , MBK Centre. These interviews are a great chance for you to get noticed by a university and to figure out which university is right for you. Some universities will use the interview day as a chance to make sure that their applicants are appropriate for the course and the interview can speed up the offer making process.
What the university is looking for from you
For students who had qualifications very close to the entry requirement, after quickly reviewing transcripts, the Statement of Purpose (SoP) and references, the interviewers will ask a few questions to get to know more about you.
The main qualities they looked for in prospective students
- Excellent communication skills
The interviewers do not expect your English to be perfect but being able to effectively communicate is essential. They are interested in what you have been doing academically and outside of class (volunteering, work, etc…) and they use these questions to determine communication skills.
- Understanding of the course content
A well prepared student knows the different areas of the course that they plan to study. Students who ask questions about specific parts of the course show an interest and an understanding of what they will be studying. The interviewers do not expect you to know exactly what you will be studying but they appreciate students who look at the prospectus or website prior to the interview and understand how elements of the course fit their goals.
- Good rationale for studying at the University
One area the interviewer is always interested in is why you are interested in studying at their university. When preparing for your interviews, think about your ultimate goals and how each specific university can help achieve those goals. These goes may be the University’s excellent reputation for a specific subject area, a suitable environment for study such as a pleasant or peaceful city, or feedback you have received from friends or family who have studied at the University already.
What you should look for from the University
The interview process is two-way and is also a great chance for you to ask questions about the University you are speaking with. While understanding that the University representative is biased and feels strongly that their institution is the best, they are another good perspective in making your decision alongside speaking with friends/family, alumni and your counselor at Hands On.
Some frequently asked questions that may be relevant to you are:
- What is the atmosphere in the city/town like?
- How many Thai students are there?
- How many international students are there?
- What style is the accommodation and how close is it to the campus?
- Is it easy to get a part-time job in your city?
- Is it possible to do an internship as part of my degree?
- Is the course mainly exam or essay based?
By asking these questions you will get a chance to get a better feel for the type of university.
What to bring to the interview
To help the University representative make a decision or gain a positive impression from you it is best to have the following documents already prepared if possible:
- Transcript (essential)
- SoP (strongly preferred)
- References (preferred)
- IELTS (useful if you have already completed)
A few tips
- Introduce yourself when you first meet the interviewer including your name and the course you are interested in studying.
- If your marks are close to the minimum entry requirement of the University, think about how experience outside of the classroom (work, volunteering, etc…) has helped you develop academically.
- Think about your academic results – did you have a strong final year? Depending on the University this can sometimes help.
- Be practical. If you have a low GPA your choice of universities will be less than a student with a high GPA. However there are some excellent universities that will still be available to you.